Presidential candidate Jordi Farre wants to make Lionel Messi the Michael Jordan of Barcelona by offering him a "life project" with the club.
Messi is out of contract at the end of the season and once more hinted at his frustrations following the international break, saying he was "tired of always being the problem" at Barcelona. The 33-year-old submitted a transfer request last summer only to subsequently back down and stay at the Camp Nou.
That did not bring an end to the off-field turbulence that has engulfed Barcelona in recent years with president Josep Maria Bartomeu resigning in October rather than face a vote of no confidence. Elections for his successor take place on Jan. 24 with telecommunications mogul Victor Font said to be the the leading contender.
Messi's future will be a central platform for all the candidates and Farre, who did not make the ballot in the 2015 elections won by Bartomeu, has indicated he plans to offer the Argentine a role that will continue after his playing days end.
"Doubting what Messi has given us is even in bad taste," Farre told Esport3."Messi has to be offered a life project. We have to turn Messi into Barca's Jordan.
"We are working to offer Messi a project in the institutional life of the club."
Messi's current contract is said to be worth around $600,000-a-week and contains an $830million buyout clause. Manchester City are among the leading contenders for his signature should he opt to leave on a free at the end of their season, though their manager Pep Guardiola insisted on Friday that he also wanted Messi to end his career with Barcelona.
"We have already spoken with Messi's environment," Farre said. "We have a proposal. The offer is not economic.
"Leo has already made a lot of money. It is a love story. I am sure I have a project that will convince Messi."
Farre's comments appear to indicate a desire to make Messi a one club man, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner having made his Barcelona debut in October 2004. However whilst Jordan won all six of his NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls, Farre may not have realized that they were not the only team he ever played for.
In 2001 Jordan came out of retirement to play two seasons with the Washington Wizards and found his "institutional life" with the Charlotte Hornets, in whom he owns a majority stake.